The 3 Best Ways To Freeze Leftover Tomato Paste

When using tomato paste, it always seems some is left in the can after making your recipe. Trying not to waste food, you put plastic wrap over the top of the can and put it in the fridge, where it sits waiting to be used. A week or so later, you reach into the refrigerator and pull out the can only to find mold has begun to grow on what remains.

Leftover tomato paste may not seem to have many uses, but it's a pretty versatile ingredient to have on hand. For instance, adding a bit of water gives you a quick and easy tomato purée. Can remnants can also be added to stew for additional flavor or to a jar of tomato sauce for more richness. You can even break it out the following Sunday for your own Bloody Mary mix. 

So there are many reasons to save your leftover paste, but perhaps the best way to ensure it's still good and ready to be used when you need it is to freeze it.

Easy to save, easy to use

How you decide to freeze the leftover tomato paste depends on 1) how precise you'd like your measurements to be and 2) what tools you prefer to use. One solution to the excess tomato paste dilemma requires only a snack-sized resealable plastic bag and a knife. For this method, scoop the paste into the bag and press evenly to spread the paste in the bag and remove any air. Then, use the back of a knife to score the bag into sections and put it in the freezer. Then, when you need some tomato paste, all you need to do is break off the sections you need. 

The second method requires a baking sheet, a cookie scoop or measuring spoon, and (again) a resealable plastic bag. First, scoop out the paste, place tablespoon-sized portions on a nonstick baking sheet, and then place them in the freezer. Once the scoops of tomato paste are frozen, they can be placed into the bag and put back into the freezer for future use. 

Finally, the third method calls for removing both ends of the can but leaving one side of the lids loosely in place. Then, wrap the can in plastic wrap and freeze it for about 12 hours. Once frozen, use the loose metal end to push the paste out the other side and then wrap the paste entirely in plastic wrap. While the paste is not divided, desired amounts can be sliced off as needed.